Deliveroo has pledged to reduce its plastic waste

By Billy

London-based food delivery startup Deliveroo wants to do its bit in the fight against mounting plastic waste.

The company — which now operates in 200 cities around the world — said plastic cutlery will become an opt-in on its app and has launched a new line of eco-packaging.

Deliveroo will provide restaurants with 50 new packaging products to help them offer sustainable packaging. It said it wants to lead by example, persuading manufacturers to start producing more alternatives to plastics.

What was said:

Deliveroo chief executive Will Shu said:

We want people to enjoy meals that are sustainably delivered and packaged.

Emma Cox, the Deliveroo’s product marketing manager, said:

It’s going to involve everyone in the food industry coming together to do this and also customers playing their part.

We’ve been sitting down with our restaurant partners and manufacturers to identify where there are gaps and where we need to find better plastic alternatives.

Why it matters:

There has been a concerted push by companies and governments to drive down the amount of plastic people are using and throwing away in recent months.

Just yesterday Dutch chain Ekoplaza, an organic chain, opened what’s thought to be the “world’s first” plastic-free supermarket aisle just off a major shopping street in Amsterdam West, in collaboration with a British campaign group.

Plastic makes up 95% of the rubbish that is found in the oceans. It is estimated between 4.8 million and 12.7 million tonnes of it pollutes the world’s waters every year.

Background:

Last year Deliveroo revealed it had raised another $275m from investors to fund expansion. It has now raised close to $500m with some analysts saying it is close to joining the so-called unicorn herd, a label given to tech startups such as Uber and Airbnb judged to be worth more than $1bn.

According to analysts NPD Group, last year in Britain the home delivery market grew 10 times faster than the restaurant market.